Help Us Investigate Prosecutorial MisconductTweet
March 31, 2014
|Read POGO's Report: Hundreds of Justice Department Attorneys Violated Professional Rules, Laws, or Ethical Standards|
POGO is continuing to examine how the Justice Department handles allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. If you can shed light on the subject, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please put “OPR” in the subject line.
As we recently reported, an internal affairs office at the Justice Department has found that, over the past decade, hundreds of federal prosecutors and other Justice Department employees violated rules, laws or ethical standards governing their work – for example, by failing to turn over evidence that would help defendants.
However, the internal affairs unit, known as the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), discloses little about its work. As a general policy, it does not name prosecutors found to have acted improperly or defendants whose cases might have been affected. In annual reports, OPR publishes brief descriptions of allegations it examined, devoid of any identifying information.*
Without greater transparency from the Justice Department or the ability to delve into the underlying court cases, it’s hard for anyone to independently assess the Justice Department’s handling of these matters.
If you can help us identify any of the cases so vaguely discussed in OPR’s annual reports, please get in touch. And please spread the word that we’re looking for information.
Thanks from POGO.
*For examples, read OPR’s annual report for fiscal year 2012 (the most recent it has published), starting on page 18 of 46. The report describes inquiries OPR decided to close during that period without conducting full-blown investigations. Beginning on page 26 of the PDF, the annual report summarizes investigations concluded during fiscal 2012.
David Hilzenrath is Editor-in-Chief for the Project On Government Oversight.
Topics: Government Accountability
Authors: David S. Hilzenrath
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